No Image Available

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

What are you doing right now?


I read a story recently about a life coach, who recorded this message on his answering machine: “Please tell me who you are and what you want; if you think those are trivial questions, consider that 95% of the population goes through life and never answers either one!” It’s an entertaining story and it reminds me that seemingly trivial questions are often the most effective. I often joke with groups that my primary role on a workshop is to ask all the really obvious and “stupid” questions and recently I started to ask myself the obvious question – when it comes to my chosen career, what am I trying to do?

Having thought about it quite deeply, I think there are three answers to that question. The first – and most superficial – is that I’m trying to train people on various topics. That’s fine but training someone is never an outcome: the purpose of training, after all, is not knowledge but action. The second answer is that I’m trying to help people or make their lives easier in some way.That’s a key value for me; I know that the times in my life when I’ve been most dissatisfied with my work are those times when I don’t feel like I’m helping anyone. But, laudable as it may be, it still doesn’t quite answer the question.

For me, the answer is that I’m trying to create three things in delegates. Awareness: you cannot make any changes – or even decide not to make any changes – if you are unaware of what you’re doing now and/or unaware of the alternatives. Secondly, choice: whatever we do, whatever our situation, we are all volunteers. We do what we do because we choose to do it – even when it comes to something as fundamental as living. We continue to live because we have not chosen the alternative. Thirdly, consequence: whatever we do, whatever actions we take or do not take, there are consequences that flow from it. Those consequences may be obvious and what you intend or they may be unintended and come as a complete surprise.

I’ve presented those three things – awareness, choice and consequences – as sequential but they are inextricably linked. For instance, understanding as much as possible about consequences makes for better-informed choices. The one thing that I’m not trying to do in my workshops is convince or persuade you that what I’m saying is right. Persuasion leads, inevitably, to competition and conflict and that doesn’t help me achieve my objectives. I believe a little scepticism is a vital and healthy ingredient in a delegate and I encourage it. You don’t have to believe what I say just because I say it – I encourage you to try for yourself.

As you go through life this week, stop periodically and ask yourself what it is you’re trying to do – and what you’re not trying to do: you may be surprised by the answer.

No Image Available

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!